Notes from our Open Meeting

Pauline opened by letting everybody know that we were videoing this meeting to share  with a wider audience and then invited anyone to start with the first item.

Katrina told us more about Marine Fest, the new community event which is taking place on Sunday 11th August in Marine Hall Gardens. A programme of live music from local bands and performers on stage and stalls, games, arts & crafts, and family fun on the gardens finishing with a Tug o’ War. It was a celebration of the Fleetwood community and it would be great to see as many people there as possible so spread the word. Read more here.

Karen updated on the recent courses by Lancashire Adult Learning at venues around Fleetwood. Several of the taster sessions had proved to be popular and after the Summer break details of more courses including Microwave Cookery and Life Saving would be announced.

Ricca said she was starting up a new Zumba class at Emmanuel on Monday evenings from 7.15pm. If you were new to Zumba, don’t worry you can take it your own pace. The cost is £2.50 a session. Contact Ricca on 07958 378243 or

Carole Anne is taking on an amazing challenge, a parachute jump from 13,000 ft to raise money for the RNIB. She is losing her sight and this is one of her ‘bucket list’ challenges, she told us about another ambition, so watch this space! Carol Anne also shared her story of how the support through the community of groups like Just Good Friends and the Healthier Fleetwood partners had made such a difference to her life. To donate to Carol Anne’s fundraising follow this link.

Sandra invited residents to get involved with two new alleyways projects. After the first successful project the next locations are alleyways by Westfield Avenue / Whinfield Avenue and Warren Street / St Peter’s Place. Each site will need to be prepared for its makeover into a new community space and when the work is done there will be a special celebration event for the residents and those involved. Sandra shared the dates of the events, for full details read more here.

Joanne is on a mission to increase awareness of the amazing work and sacrifices of young carers and wants to create a support network in Wyre. She is holding a Halloween Ball for the youngsters at the North Euston and raising funds through a series of sponsored events. Last month she raised £362 by completing a 17km kayak crossing of Conniston Water and is planning the next event now. Find out more about why this is so important at Joanne’s Go Fund Me page

David asked is anyone present could help distribute a few leaflets to their friends and neighbours please take some tonight or contact Heathier Fleetwood. You can email

Sarah from Leftcoast arts brought us up to date on some activities in the Flakefleet area including a soapbox racer workshop on 28th and 29th August ahead of a rally on 1st September down The Mount. For more information see the page on Eventbrite. An artist will be working for the week from 16th August helping residents create a bespoke, hand-made wooden banqueting table that will be used for community events in the future. Leftcoast are also putting together a Samba band and drumming group to be held every Thursday until Christmas. All these groups are about the community coming together through the arts. Contact for more information of where and when to get involved.

Shaun and Evelyn are part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) course supported by Fleetwood Town Community Trust. They have chosen the Fleetwood Mens Shed as their charity to raise funds for as part of their social action project and told us how important it was for all ages to be aware of the issue of mental health. Our thanks to the them both for coming along and speaking so eloquently.

Jacob and Jamie are working on an event next year supporting LGBT awareness. It will be in February and combined with a Harmony & Health singing session will be Valentine’s themed. More details will be announced nearer the time. They have also offered to answer questions if any residents would like to know more about LGBT issues.

At this point Pauline invited Mark to update us on the recent meeting that asked residents “What does ‘healthy’ mean”. A partnership is being created between residents, the NHS, local authorities, public, private and voluntary sector organisations to look at health care, education, housing, leisure activities and much more. Decisions and actions are starting to be delegated down to grass roots level but for the initiative it to succeed the opinions and participation of residents is essential.

At the last get together four themes came out as important to residents – What to do about the Town Centre and Lord Street, and residents will be involved in the discussions in the future; encouraging a pride in Fleetwood, we have so much to celebrate; creating a physical ‘hub’ to bring much of the good work together and Fleetwood Hospital is working towards that but also a virtual hub, where do people go for information?

The fourth theme was how to build stronger links between the generations so everyone, whatever age, felt connected to the community.

Healthier Fleetwood is in the process of becoming a Charitable Trust and with our partners will be bidding for funds to target the four themes. This isn’t about a quick fix, it’s about finding a long-term, sustainable solution to the issues that residents have identified and want to address themselves.

We took a break for a cuppa then got back together to talk more about the ideas for bring the generations closer and Lauren from the Westview Community Young People group told us about all the work they do.

Throughout the week there are several activities to engage children, young people and their families including the Grills & Chills cookery nights, games nights, revision and homework sessions and hosting a fully funded Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme. Abby is on the DofE course now and spoke passionately about how it had affected her life, given her a sense of community and achievement.

Westview Community Association is also a centre for Lancashire County Council’s crisis food service, distributing bags of food to those in need and using its own allotment to grow vegetables for local residents and community events. Anyone interested in getting involved in the great work going on at Westview as a volunteer is encouraged to contact the centre. Find out more on their website.

Gail lives and works in the Town, supporting many residents and recalled a recent conversation with a group of young people who said the often just “hang around” because they don’t have a space of their own. Brian has recently started as manager at the Milton St Neighbourhood Centre and said he’s already having positive conversations with young people to find out what they want as part of supporting families.

Mark announced that there will be an event on October 16th at Marine Hall themed around creating and celebrating a compassionate community. The afternoon will use the arts and activities to bring residents and organisations together. More details will be announced in early September.

There was a definite shared opinion that although there clearly were issues to be addressed there was also so much to be proud of in the Fleetwood. Michael told us about his rewarding work as a befriender,  Joanne reminded us of the many opportunities like the health bike rides and outdoor activities, Tony mentioned the next step for the Mens Shed was to open a new building he hoped would become a centre for the community.

The conversation could have gone on for longer, and it will continue at future meetings but with 8pm approaching Pauline thanked everyone for coming, asked them to keep thinking of suggestions for next time and the meeting was a closed.

It was a very busy evening, with plenty of new faces among the guests and we appreciate everyone’s contribution and enthusiasm. Thanks to Emmanuel for their support and for hosting the meetings. Our next Open Meeting is on Wednesday 4th September, we’d love to see you.


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